A savvy, retired AIG executive transformed a nondescript 50s ranch in East Hampton into a gorgeous Tribeca-like space after he bought the Miller Lane property less than four years ago.
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"I used the original footprint and left the four walls. I designed it myself," recalled John Hollis McCue. "We used top of the line everything."
Jane Robinson, of Hampton Homes, who had built a house he owned in Northwest Woods in 1995, handled the extensive renovation. New heating, and plumbing systems were installed. McCue turned the three bedroom, one bath original into two bedrooms and two baths. He raised the ceilings, adorning them with pickled pine planks.
Sliding mahogany panels on the exterior are more than a design element. "They are actually functional," McCue said. "They provide privacy and safety."
A huge two-level outdoor sitting area sits in one side yard: a hot tub and innovative outdoor shower — using the same mahogany panel design, is on the other. In fact, the shower appears to be a panel, set flush to the exterior of the house. But it swings out on wheels. "It forms a perfect triangle to provide total privacy," the owner pointed out. "I designed a cardboard model first because the builder didn't quite get what I wanted."
Every inch of the interior is used creatively: A dining room sitting bench disguises a storage area: a couch in the second bedroom gives way to a Murphy bed.
In the living room, a lateral flame fireplace by Design Within Reach "throws a lot of heat but doesn't require ventilation," McCue said. "I love it." The landscape, designed by Curtis Eaves of iGreen, Inc., is green and lush.
"Everything he does is just perfect," said Janice Hoagland, who watches the house and also serves as McCue's personal trainer. "He likes everything just right."
The newly designed contemporary feels bigger than its 975 square-feet, which is situated on about one-third of an acre.
Alas, with homes in Aspen, Florida and Sarasota, McCue has decided to part with his little treasure. "It was an agonizing decision," he said. Jim Caldarone Jr. and Eaves of Saunders are handling the sale.